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Autonomous Underwater Munitions and Explosives of Concern Detection System

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Cost and performance rept.

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The objective of Environmental Security Technology Certification Program ESTCP Project MR-201002, Autonomous Underwater Vehicle AUV Munitions and Explosives of Concern MEC Detection System, was to integrate an untethered and unmanned underwater vehicle with a total field magnetometer for underwater munitions detection and upgrade magnetic noise compensation software to reduce interference from electrical and dynamic influences such as vehicle heading, pitch and roll. The system was to also achieve data density, positional accuracy, and compensation improvement ratios necessary for wide area assessment and detailed characterization surveys. The integrated AUV MEC Detection System consists of a high sensitivity Geometrics G-880AUV cesium vapor magnetometer integrated with a Teledyne-Gavia AUV and associated Doppler-enabled inertial navigation system, acoustic bathymetric, and side-scan imaging modules. Total field magnetic measurements are recorded with asynchronous time-stamped data logs that include position, altitude, heading, pitch, roll, and electrical current usage. Surveys are performed by using pre-planned mission information including speed, height above seafloor or depth, and lane or transect spacing. Magnetic compensation software was concurrently developed to accept electrical current measurements directly from the Gavia AUV to address distortions from permanent and induced magnetization effects on the magnetometer. Maneuver and electrical current compensation terms can be extracted from the magnetic survey missions to perform post-process corrections. In March 2012, the system was demonstrated in Tampa Bay near St. Petersburg, Florida. Two 100-meter m by 100-m test plots were established approximately 3 miles from shore in water 30 feet ft deep. Each test plot was seeded with inert munitions ranging from 60-millimeter mm mortars to 155mm projectiles.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Submarine Engineering
  • Miscellaneous Detection and Detectors
  • Underwater Ordnance
  • Mechanics

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